Missing Guyana fishermen may have been killed by pirates

A group of fishermen prepare to take their vessel out to sea off Puntland, Somalia. Guyana authorities said Thursday a dozen fishermen who disappeared off the South American coast last month may have been killed by pirates. File Photo by Dai KuroKawa/EPA-EFE

May 4 (UPI) — Guyana President David Granger said a pirate attack last week off the South American coast may have killed at least a dozen fishermen, who remain missing.

Four boats carrying about 20 people were attacked on April 27 off the northeastern coast of South America, officials said.

Survivors said some who are still missing had weights tied to their legs and were thrown overboard.

“It is a great massacre, a great tragedy,” Granger said Thursday.

The Guayana leader said the attack is a setback for his administration, which he said successfully curbed piracy for three years.

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Lt. Col. Jerry Slijngard, director of the National Coordination Center for Disaster Management, said while the situation appears grim, it’s still possible to find survivors — some of whom could have managed to reach shore, and are possibly now in hiding.

A critically injured survivor was found Thursday. It’s unclear how many bodies have been found so far, but reports suggest as many as four.

Officials said a second pirate attack occurred Wednesday, which killed at least one fisherman — who was shot and beaten before being thrown overboard.

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